Report of the Director of Corporate Services.
Note: The Cabinet Member with responsibility has been invited to attend.
The following report was an update for the Panel, consisting of three parts; performance, projects and resources. In the absence of the Director of Corporate Services, the Executive Support Manager responded to questions about the performance information and the Cabinet Member with the portfolio for Finance, assisted by the Head of Financial Services/Section 151 Officer, dealt with any queries regarding projects and resources.
In relation to the performance information, the following issues were noted and queries raised:
A4.2, employee sickness: Sickness days had increased. What exactly did this indicate and which indicators would best represent success in the council’s approach to managing its workforce?
A3.5, food hygiene inspections: it was noted that the amber and red designations were incorrect.
A3.6, Salt Ayre Leisure Centre admissions: could seasonal variations be taken into considered when calibrating future targets?
A2.4, garden waste subscriptions: further explanation was required on the Q4 2018-19 figure.
A4.4, Housing Benefit claims: what was the reason behind the dramatic improvement during Q1 and Q2 in average time taken to process new claims, compared to the 2018/19 figures?
The Executive Support Manager agreed to supply answers to the queries by email following the meeting.
(The Executive Support Manager left the meeting when this segment of the report was concluded.)
The Panel then discussed the updates on Corporate Projects.
It was noted that the Investment and Regeneration Strategy was ‘on hold, pending direction from elected Members’. Councillor Hamilton-Cox, Cabinet Member with the portfolio for Economic Development and Regeneration, explained that Cabinet was currently focussing on the budget and that the Strategy was still the subject of dialogue and debate.
The final part of the report provided financial monitoring information.
The Panel asked a number of questions about Dalton Square, particularly about the ice rink and food outlets and whether the Council was receiving an income from the enterprise. Members also raised an issue regarding the electrical works in Dalton Square being funded with monies set aside in the budget for repairs to the Queen Victoria statue.
The Panel was pleased to hear that officers might look at ways of charging rent or entering into profit sharing agreements for future hire of Dalton Square for commercial events.
On the HRA Capital Projects information, the Panel queried the figures under ‘Lift Replacement’ and the Head of Financial Services agreed to look into that after the meeting.
Members were informed that climate change retro fitting of properties would be proposed in the budget for the coming year.
(1) That the report be noted.
(2) That the points detailed above by the Panel be addressed and responses to the queries raised be supplied by officers.